By Melinda Munson

After community feedback and discussion with the Dyea Community Advisory Board (DCAB), modifications have been made to several Parks and Recreation Committee plans included under the Skagway Deal.

The intent of the Skagway Deal is to make improvements within the municipality while supporting local workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Originally, the Nahku Bay A-frame, once owned by Bud Matthews, was slated for $25,000 in improvements. The municipality intended to rent out the refurbished building for recreational use until the DCAB noted that the A-frame would be the only cabin rental easily accessible by public road.  

“You could drive right up to that one and so could all your friends,” said Parks and Recreation Committee Chair Jay Burnham. The municipality decided to keep the cabin as day-use only to avoid a “party-like atmosphere.” Burnham said bids for the cabin renovations are currently on hold.

According to Micheal Yee, DCAB member, renting the cabin would be a breach of the Nahku Bay Preservation code. Yee said there should be “no rentals as per code on the property,” an agreement previously reached by the Nahku Advisory Board and the municipality. 

Nahku Bay. Photo by Paul Munson

Under the Skagway Deal, a kayak rack was planned for Nahku Bay with a budget of $10,000. DCAB found this plan undesirable and the rack proposal was abandoned.

Yee explained that DCAB was working to keep former owner Bud Matthews’ “wishes intact.” Matthews intended to keep Nahku Bay as a preservation area. Yee doesn’t like the idea of adding structures.

“If you start something, where do you stop?” he asked.

Additionally, a Romtec outhouse, purchased by the municipality for $32,502, will not be placed at Nahku Bay. A new location for the outhouse will be determined at a later date.

The municipality also bought two cabin kits, one as housing for a Dyea Campground host at a cost of $26,299. The cabin at the campground, yet to be installed, will be a welcome addition as DCAB has long advocated for a camp manager.

The second cabin, purchased for $37,891 will not be erected at Nahku Bay as originally intended. According to Burnham, there are several possible locations for the second building.

“We’ve got a lot of places to put cabins,” he said.